SUPERPSYCHOCEBU, the Philippines’ first and only stoner film, is more than just a cannabis-riddled artform. It is a Philosophical film. Its writers proliferate societal and psychological affairs that go beyond being “stoned.”
Being “high” or “stoned” means going past our conscious brain (beta) to think or create new streams of consciousness–our subconscious, and opening up the alpha or the theta part of the brain. For most people, being “high” is to wallow in our deepest serene selves, to find freedom from all the madness and sordidness of the world. In short, being “high” is an escape. In SUPERPSYCHOCEBU, being “stoned” goes beyond escaping from our reality. It goes deeper in introspection to see things from a different perspective, and to reflect on ourselves and society as a whole.
The protagonist, who is later named as Idol, came upon a type of marijuana that is potent, known in the story as the most robust marijuana ever harvested–the Superpsychocebu. With the very purpose of getting stoned, Idol was set on a quest to find the source of this magical marijuana. On his pursuit, he has perused himself in different perceptions of the world–from people who were “awaken” by the Superpsychocebu.
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His first quest was to find his friend Pancho. Pancho gives him a Darwinist narrative on human evolution. On Pancho’s take, humans were merely bacteria that were later formed little by little into apes, then into humans, in the middle, and perhaps, in the end, are bound to be Gods.
The second person Idol goes to, Sexy Samson, believes in God and reiterates what the bible says that all humans are made in God’s image and likeness. This character was also the one who brought up marijuana as a cure for cancer. I agree with the character’s take that cancer is a multi-billion dollar business, and the WHO and other doctors cannot just afford to formulate a drug that’s easy to rid of the disease.
Idol’s third quest was to find Beauregard, whom everyone thinks is crazy, but who offers a more in-depth take on society and our thinking. Yes, Beauregard is mad in the collective “sense” of the world, but it doesn’t mean that he is. He asks, “What is reality? Is this our reality? Is what you’re thinking real?” Remember that people have each of their perceptions (from religion to governance). As Nietzsche puts it, “All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not the truth.”
Idol’s fourth journey was to an actor named Hesus or Joshua. Like Beauregard, Hesus contrives into deeper thoughts. As a past hedonist, he only indulged himself into pleasure–sex, drugs, and food. According to him, in order to be free from these, he should sacrifice, like what Jesus Christ did.
Hesus’ take can be interpreted in many ways, for many of us think that being free is to indulge in all these whoring and such. Our society has learned to estrange us from all these sinfulness (the whoring, drugs, etc.), and many of us drive them away. However, we, as mere humans, according to Freud, have sexual and monetary desires, and if restrained, we will blast into full force.
Idol would just be amused by all the people he met and their philosophies. However, when given a sufficient amount of the Superpsychocebu, he was able to make his own, but this time, it’s a social commentary on everything surrounding our tastes–how we choose the people we like (to marry, to vote, to idolize), and how society and perhaps, advertising, shaped us to like what we like.
SUPERPSYCHOCEBU almost deviates from many comedic stoner films, but it doesn’t mean it’s not easily understood. Its thoughts are explicitly stated, which makes it a necessary film to watch. The whole stoner thing is just a scrim–a curtain on what revolves inside the deeper states of our consciousness. We want a better world to live in–we want to be free. Whatever that freedom entails will depend on our perspectives that I hope, is for the good of many.
Stay healthy, and stay at home, everyone!